Travel Insurance - Medical Information
When travelling health issue comes first. Find some helpful information which will help you to stay healthy throughout the trip as well as after it. We stress that all the information below is an advice which should not be taken separately from you doctor's, always consult your personal specialist concerning health matters.
Have a health and dental check-up before you leave.
Find out early what vaccinations you will need. Health Organisations can provide health advice and details about which vaccinations you need for particular destinations.
If you are on prescribed medication, do not stop taking it because you have left your country. Ask your doctor for a letter detailing the contents of tablets or other medicine. Keep the letter and a copy of the doctor's prescription with the medication you take overseas.
Women should take plenty of feminine hygiene products, in case these are not readily available.
Take a good supply of contraceptives, especially reliable condoms.
Tips for a Hassle-free, Healthy Journey
- purchase and take with you enough medication to cover the length of the trip-it may not be available overseas
- make up a small medical kit. Include items such as headache tablets, antacids, antiseptic lotion, cotton wool, band-aids, latex gloves, safety pins, 30+ sunscreen and an appropriate insect repellent
- if your trip will involve increased physical activity such as walking and you are not exercising regularly, gradually build up your fitness (after receiving clearance from your doctor) weeks, or preferably months before you depart
- organise a variety of financial options for while you are away, including credit cards, travellers' cheques and cash
- find out whether essentials are readily available in your chosen destination. In some countries supplies of feminine hygiene products, nappies and contraceptives including condoms can be unreliable, so it may be best to stock up before you leave.
- keep important medication with you in case your luggage goes missing
- continue taking your prescribed medication
- factor the effects of jet lag into your itinerary
- if you're scuba-diving, don't travel in an aircraft for at least 24 hours after your final dive
to help avoid deep vein thrombosis (DVT):
- drink plenty of fluids (but avoid alcohol and caffeine)
- while seated stretch your feet and lower legs
- walk around the cabin at regular intervals.
- don't over exercise-especially in hot climates
- where local tap water is not safe, drink plenty of bottled water (also use this to brush your teeth) and always check the seal on the bottle
- avoid ice in cool drinks-freezing preserves germs, it does not kill them
- beware of uncooked food including salads and fruit that you cannot peel
- include 'rest time' in your travel itinerary
- wear comfortable shoes, a hat and sunscreen for sightseeing
- dress and behave conservatively, in accordance with local customs and sensitivities
- wear a pair of thongs when showering
- practice safe sex-HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted disease are widespread in many countries.
- Drink much, eat much, and maintain a stable body heat , as previously mentioned. When you plan your daily mileage, take into consideration water, fuel, & clothes breaks. Also take into consideraton the terrain you'll be traveling in and make the appropriate clothing and supplies readily available in or on your pack. If the garments, sunscreen, food, etc. are readily available, you'll be more likely to stop and use them-- as opposed to the hassle of digging around in the pack looking for things.
- Rest occasionally. Whenever you or someone in your group gets weary, it's important to stop and rest. It's actually best if you rest before anyone gets weary. A tired backpacker, is a backpacker who is more apt to injury. When planning your daily mileage, be flexible. Be prepared to stop for the day when you and/or your group gets weary and wants to stop, rather that pushing on to a pre-determined goal and risk someone getting injured.
- Protect yourself from sunburn . Carry and use hats with wide brims which protect the eyes and face and with shrouds that cover ears and neck. Frequently apply sunblock--at least, spf 15-- in the mountains, try spf 25 or higher.
- Prevent & treat blisters . If your boots fit correctly, you'll be less likely to encounter blisters. A good boot fit will be tight in the heel area and long enough that toes don't jam up against the front of the boot when going downhill. Also, if you're wearing socks like Thorlo Hiking, with padded bottoms. Those are the three areas in which blisters occur the most. If you have a history of blisters, then apply moleskin or 2nd skin or whatever to that area prior to hitting the trail.
- Ticks and Lyme disease . Lyme disease has become a serious problem and one of the main ways it is transmitted to humans is by Ticks (Mice also, so stay away from them, as well). In tick country, make sure feet, legs, arms are covered with clothing. Wear light-colored clothing so ticks will be more visible. Check often for ticks on clothes and in hair and on exposed skin. If you do find a tick embedded in your skin the recommendation is to remove it immediately by pinching your skin with special tick-removing tweezers just below the head of the tick and lift the tick straight up and out.
If a full-blown blister does occur, you can drain it by lancing it at its base and then applying first, an antibacterial gel, and second, a cushioned, adhesive bandage.
Bugs . You'll have to deal with bugs, one way or another. Especially biting black flies and mosquitoes. There are many bug-off solutions--juices, creams, gels, sprays. You can also purchase bug-net clothes.